We watch lots of television. I’d think too much, but we have two valued reasons: One, because we publish a daily newsletter mentioning the authors who were covered the previous day on top media programs in television and radio, and second, because my daughter Gwen (ReelVixen) is a television/film critic. So, in self-defense, it makes sense to watch some of the latest shows just so I can keep up with the dinner conversation. This week is one filled with both finales and premieres, so my viewing has been erratic to say the least.
The long, drawn out ending for cult favorite Breaking Bad may have aired and been discussed everywhere by the time you read this, but as I write, we’re down to ONE episode. The penultimate episode was amazing, with Walt White, the protagonist, showing a huge range of emotions. I suppose he’s the protagonist; although being able to root for a murdering drug manufacturer shows the scope and depth of the writers’ talents. The emotions he evokes week after week amaze me. To say nothing of his moral choices. Or the company he keeps. It’s not my favorite show but BrBa does entice me to watch on the night of airing.
The second show I sat through willingly was the two-part premier of Law and Order: SVU, or the race to save Benson. However, in all honesty, I saved the first part so that I could watch in one sitting. I’m really not fond of cliff hangers. I can be patient and wait as long as my reward happens within a reasonable time frame. Plus, Gwen forgot to remind me that the show was premiering until she actually turned it on and said, “ready?” A horrific kidnapping of a primary team member is blended with the headline ripping remix of the decade long hostage case. In the hands of great writers and actors, it works.
Long awaited by fans of Joss Whedon and comic books, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a mixture of comedic repartee, explosions and cool gadgets. It was a family favorite in fact, more so than the new Sleepy Hollow show. And Coulson returns…from the dead perhaps. I also love watching the movie trailers during the commercial breaks. How can you not love seeing Thor? Or glimpses of Loki?
But all this television watching really made me long for some serious romance reading. I’m not good at just watching television without also doing some extracurricular reading and thinking. I like to match up what I watch with what I read. Fortunately, after watching some crazy drama, it’s not hard to find some suspense to read that is similar. Here are my picks for books to pair with recent television viewings:
For those who enjoy the high drama of drugs and law enforcement combined with fast-paced action, you can’t go wrong with Allison Brennan. In Cold Snap (Minotaur; October 29, 2013) Brennan mixes up a holiday family reunion with different family members facing and solving some horrific crimes. The Kincaid family is large, but Brennan manages to cover a lot of ground, tying up loose strings with Patrick and Elle and throwing in new hostile situations that other family members must face as well. If you’re looking for an emotional Christmas story with elements of both romance and suspense, put Cold Snap on your shopping list. It makes a much better read than the travails of Walt White and I can guarantee it’ll have a much better ending.
Action heroes come in many different shapes and ages as Jennifer L. Armentrout shows in her Lux series of Young Adult books. The latest, Origin (Entangled Teen; August 27, 2013) has Katy held hostage and Daemon out to rescue her. In fact, if you take the hostage situation on SVU and mix it up with the high adventure of S.H.I.E.L.D., Origin is the book to pick to satisfy a scratch for reading. If the YA label disturbs, just ignore. The Lux series is worth discovering and you’ll find you want to devour it as quickly as possible. Katy and Daemon are fully realized characters who emerge from the pages and might just become some of your favorites. Armentrout knows how to write twists and turns as well.
My final suggestion for you to check out this premiere week is the mistress of romantic suspense, Sandra Brown, and her latest book, Deadline (Grand Central Publishing; September 24, 2013). A journalist on the trail of the story of a lifetime stumbles over secrets from the past and falls in love with the wife of a murder victim he’s investigating. It’s all high drama, great action and delivered by a master of suspense. I’ve been an avid reader of Brown’s work over the years, so when I see a new one I try to grab it as quickly as possible. Deadline didn’t disappoint, and I recommend it if you want to cleanse your mind after all that television watching. If you like romance mixed with high adventure and suspense, be sure to add this to your reading list.
So, do you watch television and wait with impatience for new seasons to begin? Do you like to watch from the very beginning or take a wait-and-see-if-the-series-lasts attitude? Or are you attracted to completely new shows?
Sara Reyes is the founder and partner at FreshFiction.com, a popular fiction web site for today's reader with new titles, contests, over 50,000 genre fiction author profiles with backlists, and permanently archived reviews, plus all the industry buzz. Fresh Fiction has a biweekly segment (Buy the Book) on WFAA Channel 8 Good Morning Texas to talk about new books not to miss. Believing face-to-face interaction is as important as virtual communities, Fresh Fiction sponsors an annual author reader tea in June, a readers conference in November, monthly literary events, and book clubs. Follow Sara at @FreshFiction on Twitter or Facebook.com/FreshFiction.